Journal Address

Climate change should not be a partisan issue


Tears swell in the eyes of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg as she addresses the U.N. on Sept. 23 in New York City. Thunberg, a young climate change activist, traveled from Sweden to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Her speech is short, but it is far from sweet. Thunberg is full of emotion, and she does not hold back. She rips into the world leaders for doing far too little about the crisis at hand: the Earth is quickly spiraling into a path of death and decay while political figures deflect the issue.
“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” Thunberg said. “How dare you!”
Our government seems to have forgotten that climate change is rapidly becoming more relevant and serious. In order to take care of the issue before it’s too late, we, The Journal believe political parties must stop making climate change a partisan issue.
According to NASA, 18 of the 19 warmest years in recorded history have occured since 2001, sea levels also rise by nearly three and a half millimeters each year and oceans have warmed by nearly half a degree over the last 50 years. According to NASA, global warming over the past 50 years can largely be attributed to human activity. However, there may still be time to prevent even more irreversible damage from taking place but not without change.
The current Trump Administration has shown little care to the matter at hand. In recent rollbacks, President Donald Trump has actually taken away policies from Barack Obama’s presidency that limited greenhouse emissions. According to The New York Times, Trump has eliminated or is in the process of elimination over 80 rules and regulations designed to cut back on fossil fuel consumption. This harmful action can’t continue.
It’s clear that humans can’t continue at the current rate of fossil fuel usage. In a documentary with the BBC, renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking predicted a mere 100 years until the Earth is no longer salvageable if we continue at our pace, so what can be done?
Recently, democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez laid out her solution to the issue. In a proposed legislation titled the Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez and senator Ed Markey have provided the framework for what would remake the economy and hopefully cut out all U.S. carbon emissions, according to them. To accomplish this, Ocasio-Cortez and Markey have emphasized principles like investing in renewable power sources, supporting family farms, restoring the already damaged environment, investing in zero-emission public transportation systems, going carbon-neutral in the next 10 years and more. However, the senate voted down the bill 57-0.
Senate Majority Leader for the Republicans Mitch McConell called the Green New Deal “radical” in a tweet after the vote. According to NPR, some aspects of the Green New Deal are indeed aggressive, but many climate activists advocate that aggressive action is required. We cannot allow partisanship to prevent us from taking the steps necessary to save our planet.